Infectious agent: Babesia microti
Description of illness: Many infected with Babesia microti do not have any symptoms. Some people develop nonspecific flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue. Because Babesia parasites infect and destroy red blood cells, babesiosis can cause a special type of anemia called hemolytic anemia. This type of anemia can lead to jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and dark urine. Those most at risk for severe disease are: people without a spleen, immunocompromised persons, have other serious health conditions (such as liver or kidney disease); or older adults.